New approach to reading is old approach

Gene Modin, Bismarck

Do not wait for the teachers colleges to change anything. They like it the way it is. They like the results.

The current method of reading instruction called by various names, such as look-say, see and say, whole word, whole language or balanced literacy have very ineffective instruction strategies: 1. examine the shape of the word. 2. look at the picture. 3. consider the context within the sentence. 4. re-read the sentence. 5. make your best guess. 6. skip the word. 7. ask for help. These strategies become lifelong habits for many children.

The article indicates a new approach to reading is on the rise. It is called the science of reading. Could be as simple as 26 letters, 44 sounds and 74 spellings. Previously, it has been called phonics. There are many phonics programs available. Homeschoolers have been using them for many years. The primary technique is to sound it out. Every letter of every word becomes a clue. The look-say method focuses on word recognition. Phonics instruction focuses on letter recognition. There are only 26 letters for spelling all the words in the dictionary or any book written in English..

The best way to develop phonemic awareness is to learn the relationship between the letter and the sound (reading) and the relationship between the sound and the letter (writing).

One recommended strategy: learn phonics before grade one (or as early as a child might show interest or aptitude). And while learning phonics, learn to print. Also learn cursive handwriting since cursive handwriting instruction has been removed from the North Dakota State Standards.


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